The Right Way to Find a Career Sponsor

by Sylvia Ann Hewlett

As part of her employer’s mentoring program, every month Willa meets one-on-one with Joan, a former executive vice president at the global financial services firm where they both work. Warm and nurturing, Joan is a tireless champion of working mothers like Willa, having herself negotiated a flex arrangement working out of her home in Connecticut while overseeing operations in India.

Joan is unquestionably Willa’s role model as well as mentor. But is she the senior leader best positioned to get Willa promoted to her dream job of heading up M&A at corporate headquarters? Probably not.

As sympathetic confidants, mentors can’t be beat. They listen to your issues, offer advice, ...

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